Have you ever set out to have a one night stand with a sexy stranger?
No? I’m the only one?
Just kidding, I would never.
But then I figured, why not? My entire life I’ve been good and it’s gotten me nowhere.
I’m owed a little fun, aren’t I? A reward for being good.
Sure, a new pair of shoes would be more appropriate, but Mr. Sexy Stranger is more appealing. And when he speaks—in that British accent—it’s a done deal. Every American woman has a hot British guy fantasy. Well, most do. I haven’t taken a poll or anything, but I’m pretty sure it’s a fact.
You know that saying about best-laid plans?
Good, because I don’t either, but I assume they go awry.
Like my one night stand…
The moment I laid eyes on Kyle Kingston I knew he was a mistake. A satisfying, toe curling, hair pulling, best night of my life mistake, but a mistake all the same. I didn’t yet know his name, or who he was, but I knew he was a bad idea.
I take comfort in that, because it means my instincts are still good. Too late, but it’s something.
Because, FYI, I’m pregnant
… and did I mention my baby daddy is both heir to a retail empire and impossible to get ahold of?
I do what any girl would. I break into his Grandfather’s retirement gala by telling the prissy gatekeeper Kyle’s my fiancé. It was a halfway decent plan at the time, trust me.
But it blows up in my face, disastrously so. You see, Kyle Kingston is all about representing the family values his family’s retail empire was founded on. At least in public. In private- well I’ll tell you about that later.
He proposes – a marriage of convenience.
Convenient for everyone but me, because while I’m falling in love with my convenient husband, he’s keeping a billion-dollar secret. From me.
Jana Aston likes cats, big coffee cups and books about billionaires who deflower virgins. She wrote her debut novel while fielding customer service calls about electrical bills, and she’s ever grateful for the fictional gynecologist in Wrong that readers embraced so much she was able to make working in her pajamas a reality. Jana’s novels have appeared on the NYT, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists, some multiple times. She likes multiples.
Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing.
On the positive side, her money problems are over and her coworker is smoking hot. On the negative side, evil creatures now actively hunt her, and deadly experiences are becoming the norm.
When she thinks it couldn’t get worse, a powerful evil sets up shop at a local hotel’s video game convention, and it’s got its eye on more than the gaming geeks—it’s hungry for Madison’s soul. Madison needs to become an expert illuminant enforcer overnight to save her job, her region…and her life.
Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, but if her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.
But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.
As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.
Madison Fox is determined to reform Jamie, her half-evil pooka, but the bond linking her to Jamie works both ways. Already, it has manipulated her into bending the rules. If she continues down this path, she could doom her soul. Since her judgment can’t be trusted, a high-ranking inspector now dictates Madison’s every interaction with Jamie, and each directive drives them further apart.
Unfortunately, Madison has bigger issues than the potential degradation of her soul. Winter has struck with a vengeance. Frost moths plague the entire state, reinforcing the artificially frigid temperature. Worse, cold-blooded, soul-stealing enemies are flocking into her region from the north—creatures Madison has little defense against.
With the inspector scrutinizing her every misstep, Madison is in for the battle of her life. If she hopes to survive, she must make an impossible choice: save herself and her region or save Jamie.
An imaginative urban fantasy filled with heart, humor, and plenty of butt-kicking action—A Fistful of Frost is a book you won’t want to miss.
I expected the inspector to look like an Army Ranger, tall, muscular, and radiating an “I could kill you if I wanted to” vibe. The woman who stepped from the car shattered my assumptions. Midfifties, petite, and pale, with a slash of bright auburn in her chin-length white-blond hair, Inspector Pamela Hennessey didn’t look authoritative until her assessing gaze landed on me. Then I fought not to squirm.
“Madison Fox and the pooka Jamie,” she said, not quite a greeting and not a question. It would have sounded rude if not delivered in her posh British accent. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
“All good, I hope,” I quipped.
She eyed me up and down, giving me a noncommittal, “Mmm.”
My smile froze at the corners.
Rose climbed from the driver’s seat and shut the car door with more force than necessary. The Latina empath gave me a curt nod, as if we were strangers and not coworkers and friends. What the hell? I stopped pretending to smile. Jamie shifted closer, brushing his gloved hand against mine, worry crinkling his eyebrows as he read the tension of the group. I gave him a shoulder bump to reassure him, pretending to be relaxed. Pamela’s gaze snapped from our touching hands to our shoulders to our faces, and I fought the urge to leap away from Jamie as if I were doing something wrong.
“Give me a net and let’s get your purity test out of the way, Madison,” the inspector said.
“Pardon me?” Wasn’t a purity test a medieval way to judge a woman’s virginity? Not only had that ship long since sailed, but I also didn’t see how it would be relevant—or anyone’s business. I checked Brad’s neutral expression. Did details about my sex life fall under the impress her or don’t embarrass me category?
The inspector rounded on Brad, wispy-fine hair flaring on either side of her pink headband earmuffs. “She doesn’t know what a purity test is? You haven’t tested her once in the last five days?”
“Madison’s purity has never been in question.”
A warning frizzled down my spine at Brad’s bland tone. She’d put him on the defense. I glanced to Rose for a clue, but she only grimaced and looked away.
“Don’t let your recent victories make you arrogant, Brad,” Pamela said. “Of course her purity is in question. She’s bonded to a pooka.”
Aha! This wasn’t about virginity; this was about Jamie’s dual nature and the metaphysical bond he’d placed on me. I’d been warned—repeatedly—to be careful of Jamie’s darker half; more than one bonded enforcer had been corrupted by a pooka’s morally ambiguous influence. No one had mentioned purity tests.
“This is to see if Jamie has . . . changed me?” I asked, choosing my words carefully in deference to Jamie. Nothing in his expression said he took offense to the insinuation that our link might have tainted me. He saw nothing wrong with wielding atrum as readily as lux lucis, and if I failed a purity test, it’d probably make him happy.
“Changed you?” Pamela echoed. “No. I need to know if the pooka’s bond has sullied you.”
So much for being tactful. I peeked sideways at Jamie, but he hadn’t reacted, his gaze focused beyond Pamela on the people walking by.
“Is there a problem?” the inspector asked.
“No. Of course not, but, Inspector Hennessey—” I shot Brad a desperate look.
“Call me Pamela. Never Pam.”
“Got it. Um, Pamela—”
“She doesn’t know how to make a net,” Brad said for me.
“Why not?” Pamela demanded, spinning to confront my boss again, the hem of her wool coat flaring to reveal the calves of her pale leather boots.
“I haven’t had the luxury of instituting a methodical training regimen with Madison.”
“Mmm,” Pamela said.
I was starting to hate that noise.
“And if she encountered a frost moth?” she asked.
“She has a lighter.”
One I’d purchased this afternoon at Brad’s insistence. Shaped like a small blowtorch, with a trigger to ignite the flame, it was the fanciest lighter I’d ever owned. It also had the distinction of being the only lighter I’d ever purchased with the intention of using as a weapon—or at least I thought that was the plan. I pressed my lips together. Now wouldn’t be a good time to confess that after reading Val’s entry on sjel tyver, I’d completely forgotten to ask the handbook about frost moths—what they looked like, where to find them, or how to kill them.
“I can instruct Madison on nets now,” Brad offered.
The inspector shook her head. “Let’s get the inquisition out of the way.”
REBECCA CHASTAIN is the USA Today bestselling author of the Madison Fox urban fantasy series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles fantasy trilogy, among other works. Inside her novels, you’ll find spellbinding adventures packed with supernatural creatures, thrilling action, heartwarming characters (human and otherwise), and more than a little humor. Rebecca lives in Northern California with her charming husband and two bossy cats.
“He jests at scars that never felt a wound.” ― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
A new job, new city, and new friends seem like the perfect solutions for healing Zack’s broken heart. A fiery red-head, with passion for all of his favorite activities couldn’t hurt either. She seems perfect for him, and he’s immediately drawn in. The romance blossoms, but Zack is side-swiped when he learns she’s hiding things. Is the relationship worth salvaging or do her scars run too deep? Don’t miss Zack’s story in this Being Me series stand-alone companion novel!
“So, we didn’t get to catch up today. How was your Fourth?” Mitchell asks as I slide my backpack over my shoulders.
“I was working.” We walk out of the physical therapy room, dodging incoming patients.
“Did you even get to see fireworks?”
“No, we had a couple injuries, so I was there till late.” I find my keys and sunglasses in a side pocket of my bag.
“You’ve got to get a better job, so you can have a social life.” Mitchell shakes his head.
“Are you kidding? I’m living the dream. Fame and fortune.”
“Right, well”—he offers his palm out to me—“I’ll catch you next time.”
“Yep.” I shake his hand and slide my sunglasses on. Stepping through the sliding doors the sun sears my skin, and I wonder if I’ll ever get used to it. Heat rises off the pavement, and hot wind engulfs me as I cross the parking lot. A volleyball rolls out from between two cars. I dip and scoop it up with one palm. Scanning the rows, I spot an open trunk and jog to it. I stop a couple feet from a girl rummaging in the back of a small SUV. “You lose this?” I hold the ball at arm’s length.
She glances at me and then back to her open car. “I’d lose my head right now if it weren’t attached.” Her accent is melodic, almost twangy, and I note her New Jersey license plate. Running her hand through her thick red hair, she turns to face me. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” Ball extended, I take a step closer to her. “You play?”
Her eyes land on mine and then cut to my chest where my ID card hangs. Grabbing the sphere with both hands, she tosses it into her SUV. “Yeah.” Shaking her head, she fishes in the closest bag.
“Me too. There’s a league at the JCC if you’re interested. That’s the—”
“I know what the JCC is.” She spins to face me.
I take a step back. “Okay, I wasn’t… I just thought—”
“What? Since I have out-of-state plates, I’m fresh meat? A new chick to take out once and never call again?”
“Whoa.” I raise my palms. “I was just returning the ball.” Shaking my head, I turn and walk away. I should have known. She’s the redhead I saw with Lydia and Rose in the cafeteria. They hate me. Why? I have no clue. I accepted an invite to hang out with them my first week on the job. We’d spent three hours at a bar, them spouting off all the hospital gossip. Drama isn’t my thing. I’d been nice about it, nodding and agreeing where appropriate. The next time they asked me to join them, I had volleyball, fortunately for me, as I am horrible at lying. The third and fourth times, I had a string of twelve-hour shifts and declined them again. They have been shooting daggers and giving me the cold shoulder ever since. I’m not sure what to do about their hostility. Mitchell said to ignore them, but now they’re bad-mouthing me? I’m barely at the hospital two days a week, and they think they know me?
“Hey.” I hear her call out and turn around. “I’m sorry about that. Thanks for saving my ball. This is my first day at work, I moved here two days ago, and everything is out of control. Lydia and Rose said that you…” Shedding her sunglasses, her eyes cut to the pavement and back to my face.
I shake my head and shrug. “That I did what exactly? Did they mention how long they’d known me? I moved here a month ago and only hung out with them once.”
“Oh.” She looks to a passing truck and then back up at me. “They were trying to help, I think.”
The sun has my skin flaming. “We good?”
“Yeah, thanks again.”
“No problem.” I resume my path, hoping my reply wasn’t too rude. She lashed out at me first though. Plus, with the twelve-hour shift and heat, I was done.
“Zack, my man!” Rabbi John greets me by gripping my hand and bumping his shoulder to mine the next night at the JCC gym. “Wasn’t sure you were going to make it.”
“Traffic was bad. How’s the count?” I ask as I secure my laces.
“Good, Kara from team two is sick, but Liz showed up, so we’re good to go.”
“Redhead, said you invited her?” His eyes grow large as if to urge me to remember.
“Long red hair?”
“Yeah, red, it’s back, so maybe? You want to switch to be on her team?”
I shake my head.
“Okay, well I won’t ask about that then.” He looks back to his clipboard.
“Yeah, you don’t want to know.” I pat him on the back and, eyes focused on the floor, make my way to our court.
Jeff approaches. “Who’s the chick?”
“Redhead. John said you invited her.”
“Don’t know her.” I throw my bag on the stands and retrieve my ball. “Let’s warm up.”
Copyright 2018 Tricia Copeland All Rights Reserved
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in sunny Colorado with her family. Her novels include the award nominated contemporary romance series, Being Me, Best Book Award finalist urban fantasy series, The Kingdom Journals, Lovelock Ones, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller, and Drops of Sunshine, a YA paranormal novella. Find Tricia and her books at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.
1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?
Tracy: As with most writers, I am a life-long book lover, but, once figuring out the story became a habit, the next logical step was creating my own. I have a fairly colorful bio which has exposed me to some unique characters. Everyone thinks their life should be in a book. I try to accommodate.
2. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.
Tracy:I stay too busy to notice. If I’m not writing, I’m editing, researching, rewriting, reading, marketing (I hate marketing), etc., or writing something else. I usually have at least three projects in need of attention at any given time.
3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Tracy:I read (of course). I paint. And, most importantly, I have an eighteen-month-old grandson.
4. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?
Tracy:Everyone knows I write. My family is more supportive than I deserve. Sometimes more critical, too. But I love it. They keep me honest.
5. Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.
Tracy:I tend to bounce between romance, fantasy, and young adult. These are not in any particular order:
J. R.R. Tolkien
George R.R. Martin
Sharon Kay Penmen
Karen Marie Moning
Kam: You and I have multiple authors in common. Maybe we need to start a book club and dish about them and their wonderful creations. 😀
6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?
Christian – Alexander Ludwig/ Theo James/ Tom Felton- Christian
Commander Joffener – Edward Noton
Lieutenant colonel Briggs – Robert De Niro
I’m open if anybody wants to produce it (lol).
AREINA ELLIOT, guidance counselor for Presque Isle Academy, discovered her idea for making students loyal to the government is being implemented in the Excellence Program to further the war. It has become her life’s work to undermine that effort. When she is arrested for being a Revolutionary sympathizer, her brothers, KAIDEN, FISHER, and SILAS rescue her with help from three of Lareina’s top students; ALEC, ORION, and YUKIYO. On the run but armed with intelligence and more, they seek to learn how she was exposed and by whom.
CHRISTIAN DEVERELL, the agent assigned to Lareina’s case is relentless. She can’t escape him. It doesn’t matter that he and Lareina are on opposite sides of the law, or that their history is dirty. It doesn’t matter that he commissioned her adopted brother, Silas, to assassinate her. The only thing of importance is his love for Lareina and his promise to protect her.
Silas MCKADE, soldier elite, Lareina’s secret weapon. The man who never misses is on the Government’s payroll to do whatever he likes to whomever he chooses. He has a death warrant for Lareina—the woman who means everything to him—and a heart full of hatred for Christian—the man he wants to be. He’s either going to break Lareina’s heart or stop it altogether.
7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top- secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.
Tracy:I just finished a short story for a charity anthology – It’s a sweet fairytale. I am working on a romance. The tag for that one is: Hope Floats meets Castaway. And, I am drafting another dystopian romantic suspense after the fashion of Get Out and The Stepford Wives.
(Tracy) Dragonfly Dreams is my short story contribution to the Anthology. The Anthology is due to release on Feb 15th.
10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.
Tracy:Most of my stories tend to be genre-bending because I write about love. When, where, and how it happens. Sometimes that’s on a farm or boat, other times it’s during the last Civil War or next one coming. Some of it is fluffy-sweet and some of it is rolling in heat and muck. But all of it is tough love because none of my main characters belong together. Their stubborn hearts refuse to listen.
**I know Tracy A. Ball is one helluva author but check out what others are saying about her.**
Reviewer K. Coly(5⭐): “I’m a huge fan of Kayos, by Tracy Ball. I couldn’t pass up the chance to revisit the world of mind games, conspiracy, and romance. The only disappointment was that the story wasn’t longer!!!! The glimpse we get into the couple’s tumultuous past is riveting and nothing like what I was expecting. If you’re tired of the boring romance where everything works out just as predicted, The Tiger and The Snake is definitely worth the read. Without getting into spoilers, the witty banter and unabashed manipulations make this couple a welcome change. You don’t have to read Kayos to love this, but you’ll want to read (or re-read) Kayos when you’re done. Hopefully this just the beginning of what would be an amazing series.”
Reviewer Bruce Logan (5⭐): “Set several decades into the future, this book is reminiscent of, and every bit as avant garde as was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four when released in 1949. For the fan of dystopian fiction, it’s a feast and for and for anyone interested in a good yarn with equal doses of love and warfare, it’s a page-turner. This work is exceptionally well written by an author with a lively imagination. A spirited read. Well done, Tracy.”
Reviewer J.L. Cook (5⭐): “Such a brilliant way to tell a futuristic love story. Even amid a dystopian society, love wins! This book captured my attention from the beginning, and left me wanting more (in a good way) in the end.”
This prequel to KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse is the need-to-know origin of Lareina and Christian’s impossible relationship and includes the how and why the members of KAYOS are who they’ve become.
Print Length: 40 pages
Love thy enemy. Thoroughly.
“Oh, Lord. He’s back.”
Lareina and Christian had the love of a lifetime, a lifetime ago. Now, they’re frienemies with not enough benefits for either of them.
Christian wants to get past their problem, but Lareina is not having it, or him. Until a desperate call and a fateful day changes him; changes her; changes everything. Love has forced them to play a dangerous game called KAYOS.
Lareina hated Christian. She hated loving him. She hated being her best, happiest self with him. She hated how he made her laugh…and cry. Damn the man. Why did he ever make her cry?
An amazing dinner. A perfect moonlight stroll. His touch was electric and his kisses held every promise she ever wanted. But…
He was working. The evening was a carefully crafted delusion meant to fool an observer into believing they were in love. She wasn’t his woman. She was bait. It didn’t matter what he made her feel. Tonight, she was bait.
Other than to indicate the men following them, and when a team member happened to be near, Christian said very little about his game or her part in it. Being herself was all he required from her. She toyed and flirted and let him see the depth of her feelings. Promising him tomorrow would be an altogether different day.
“How will we know if this is working?” She asked on the way back to the hotel. She curled up under his shoulder as he drove.
“We won’t. You’ll have to spend the night with me to be sure they believe I’m fully distracted.”
“In your wildest wet dreams.” She used the opportunity to rub his crotch. “And, you are fully distracted.”
“Do it again. I dare you.”
“Nope. But only because you want me to.”
“Absolutely.” Over their quiet laughter, she said, “You have me for one more hour, Christian. Once we’re done here, you are going to stay away from me for the rest of the weekend. Understand?”
“You know better. One, I’ve put you out there, I have to protect you.”
“I can protect myself.”
“I have to protect you. Two, avoiding me would blow my cover. And three, you don’t want me away from you any more than I do.”
“You’ve got one hour. Make it special.” She squeezed his leg and slid out of his reach.
Amanda has no trouble choosing a college or picking a major. What she does have a problem with is what she would have least expected, a guy. Smart and sexy, Doug is focused on school responsibilities and post-graduation plans. Their paths intersect and Amanda must accept his help or risk losing her scholarship. Determined to maintain appearances, Amanda begins to lie to family and friends. The ease at which she repeatedly deceives those closest becomes disturbing and leaves her questioning: “Is this me?”
Can Amanda find her way out of her contrived world?
Did you ever wonder what the family thinks when the girl rides away with her prince? Amanda’s parents think she’s abandoned her friends, goals, even morals to be with Doug. The assessment is ludicrous, but Amanda can’t convince them otherwise. Their disapproval undermines her self-confidence and she is determined to prove them wrong. To make things worse, Doug has a huge roadblock thrown in his path. Amanda isn’t able to talk about the situation with anyone except Zack, her ex-boyfriend. Can she endure the strain of keeping Doug’s secret? Can her already fragile psyche survive a whole summer with parents who condemn everything she does? Amanda begins to doubt she can, and there’s no castle, no fairy godmother, no magic wand to rescue her.
This isn’t fair! Isn’t it enough that I see his image every time I close my eyes? That I hear her words echo in my dreams? Now his face is immortalized on a front page? How much worse can it get? My rage and guilt are just as raw as if it were yesterday. I can’t let him control my feelings. He can’t win. I won’t let him. –Amanda
Amanda’s first year of college is fraught with drama and parental scrutiny. With her relationship secure and a clean break from her parents, all she wants is a normal term. But fate steps in and deals a shattering blow. You Don’t Know Me will keep you guessing from the first chapter.
“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”-The Great Gatsby
In attempt to manage her rage and shame after a violent assault, Amanda loses touch with reality. Her spiraling physical state forces her to act or die. To face her demons, she must revisit the emotions she ran from in the first place. Still unsure of what life she wants, but determined to pick up the pieces, she seeks out the right path. Can she mend broken bonds with her friends and family? Will her epic love survive? Find out in this roller coaster finale of the Being Me series.
Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado. She not only draws from personal experiences, but creates adventures and fantastical journeys for her characters. She feels it is important to portray bravery in the face of turmoil and challenge.
Her contemporary romance Being Me Series includes the novels Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, Think You Me, and the finale,Being Me. These new adult books follow a college co-ed named Amanda, from her freshman year to her senior year, as she navigates a huge crush, first love, and an intense personal tragedy. More than just romance novels, the series chronicles a young adult’s journey, diving into coming of age, personal growth, and recovery themes.
Tricia also writes in the young adult space. Her first YA paranormal work, entitled Drops of Sunshine, features Nina who hopes to escape her family drama at a summer camp for the visually-challenged. Problems ensue when she realizes the campers can hear her thoughts. This novella is available free in Spellbound, a summer themed anthology of YA stories. Tricia’s second YA work, a dystopian tale featuring Jema and Troy, is entitled Lovelock Ones: Native One, and can be found in The Butterfly Box. In addition to Native One, The Butterfly Box includes seven adult healing themed novellas. All proceeds from this anthology benefit Doctors Without Borders. A follow up to Native One, Bred One, will be available January of 2018!
Copeland’s latest books are the YA paranormal fantasy romance, Kingdom Journals Series, including Kingdom of Embers and Kingdom of Darkness. In the first journal, you read a first-person account of a modern-day vampire-witch hybrid named Alena who finds her soul-mate, Hunter, who realizes he is a witch. The second, gives a glimpse into the mind of a girl who believes she suffers from schizophrenia. Camille discovers, she is the witch of the trinity, destined to break the curses put on the witch and vampire species. The third and fourth books of the series, Kingdom of Honor and Kingdom of War, are due out in September of 2017 and June of 2018, respectively.
An avid runner and paranormal fan, Tricia enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find all of Tricia’s books on her website atwww.triciacopeland.com!